Toronto—China expressed that it “deplores and firmly opposes” measures from Canada to extradite the CFO of Huawei Technologies, Meng Wanzhou.
The lawsuit claims that Ms Meng was detained, searched and interrogated before she was informed that she was being arrested.
The government of Canada announced on Friday, March 1, that extradition hearings against Ms Meng, daughter of Huawei’s founder Ren Zhengfei, would proceed. A statement from the Department of Justice indicated satisfaction that enough proof is present for the case to be heard by an extradition judge and that requirements had been met.
According to Lu Kang, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, how Ms Meng was treated “constitutes a serious violation of the legal rights and interests of the Chinese citizen.” He also called it “a severe political incident” on Saturday, March 2.
Ms Meng is scheduled to appear before the court on Wednesday, March 6, which will determine the date of her extradition treaty. She faces charges in the United States for the violation of sanctions on Iran, as well as for fraud.
At the hearing for Huawei’s CFO, a judge will determine whether Ms Meng should be extradited to the United States or not.
China has been asking for her release for some time now. Several Canadian nationals have been arrested in China, a move many have perceived to be retaliatory against Ottawa.
After Ms Meng was arrested at the airport in Vancouver in Canada on December 1, 2018, Huawei put out a statement that claimed the company “complies with all applicable laws and regulations where it operates,” and that it “believes the Canadian and U.S. legal systems will ultimately reach a just conclusion.”
Donald Trump, the President of the United States, mentioned last week that he could include discussing Ms Meng’s case in the next round of trade talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, tentatively scheduled for later this month at Mr Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
By Sunday, March 3, a notice of civil claim in the British Columbia Supreme Court had been filed by lawyers for Ms Meng.
They claim that the Huawei CFO was asked questions “under the guise of a routine customs” examination and that the officials who had interrogated her used the questioning session to “compel her to provide evidence and information,” as she was not immediately arrested.
According to the lawsuit, agents from the Canada Border Service Agency took Ms Meng’s electronic gadgets, got her passwords, and illegally looked at the contents on her devices, while withholding the real nature and reasons for her detention.
Ms Meng was apparently only told that she was under arrest and could avail of legal counsel three hours after she was taken for questioning.
According to her civil claim, “This case concerns a deliberate and pre-meditated effort on the part of the defendant officers to obtain evidence and information from the plaintiff in a manner which they knew constituted serious violations of the plaintiff’s rights.”
In a rare interview with the BBC, the usually private Ren Zhengfei, the founder of Huawei and father of Ms Meng, made strong statements about the future of the Chinese telecommunications giant as well as the arrest of his daughter, which he called a “politically motivated act” by the United States.
First, Ren insisted that Huawei remains strong, saying “There’s no way the US can crush us. The world needs Huawei because we are more advanced. Even if they persuade countries not to use us temporarily, we could just scale things down a bit.”
Huawei’s founder insists that the adversity the company has faced has forced it to be better than ever. “And because the US keeps targeting us and finding fault with us, it has forced us to improve our products and services.”